Is BP delaying damage claims from the Gulf oil spill?

Authors: Claudia Preparata, Research Director


BP appears to be delaying decisions about the validity of many claims for damages from the Gulf oil spill, leaving claimants frustrated by bureaucratic obstacles and confusing requests for more documentation.

The company's claims process is guided by the Oil Pollution Act, a 1990 federal law that holds oil companies responsible for repaying direct "removal costs and damages" caused by a spill. But many claims are for damages that are not explicitly covered by the law — such as ruined start-up companies and lost income from commission payments — and many of those are in limbo.

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